(The Iron Bridge 2005 – credit: Andre Engels)
“The Iron Bridge is a bridge that crosses the River Severn in Shropshire, England. Opened in 1781, it was the first major bridge in the world to be made of cast iron, and was greatly celebrated after construction owing to its use of the new material.” (Wikipedia)
(The Iron Bridge at Ironbridge, Shropshire, as seen from a Grob Tutor T1 of UBAS at RAF Cosford. – credit: James Humphreys – SalopianJames)
“In March 1776, the Act to build a bridge received Royal Assent.” (Wikipedia)
(Iron Bridge from below – credit: Uncle Silver)
“The masonry and abutments were constructed between 1777 and 1778, and the ribs were lifted into place in the summer of 1779 by the use of wooden derricks and cranes. The bridge first spanned the river on 2 July 1779, and it was opened to traffic on 1 January 1781.” (Wikipedia)
(credit: Peterlewis at English Wikipedia)
“The bridge is to a carpenters design typically used for wood structures, built from five, sectional, cast iron ribs that give a span of 100 feet 6 inches (30.63 m). Exactly 378 long tons 10 cwt (847,800 lb or 384.6 t) of iron was used in the construction of the bridge, and there are almost 1700 individual components, the heaviest weighing 5.5 long tons (5.6 t). Components were cast individually to fit with each other, rather than being of standard sizes, with discrepancies of up to several centimeters between ‘identical’ components in different locations.
Decorative rings and ogees between the structural ribs of the bridge suggest that the final design was Pritchard’s, as the same elements appear in a gazebo he rebuilt. A foreman at the foundry, Thomas Gregory, drew the detailed designs for the members, resulting in the use of carpentry jointing details such as mortise and tenon joints and dovetails.” (Wikipedia)
(Table of Tolls at Ironbridge, Shropshire, England – credit: Rodhullandemu)
“Darby had agreed to construct the bridge with a budget of £3,250 and £3,250 was raised by subscribers to the project, mostly from Broseley. While the actual cost of the bridge is unknown, contemporary records suggest it was as high as £6000, the excess being borne by Darby, who was highly indebted from other ventures as well. However, by the mid-1790s the bridge was highly profitable, and tolls were giving the shareholders an annual dividend of 8 per cent.” (Wikipedia)
“The opening of the bridge resulted in changes in the pattern of settlement in the Gorge, and roads around the bridge were improved in the years after its construction. The town of Ironbridge, taking its name from the bridge, developed at the northern end. The trustees, as well as local hotel keepers and coach operators, promoted interest in the bridge among members of polite society.” (Wikipedia)
(The Iron Bridge – credit: Nilfanion)
“After negotiations to raise the required funds, a programme of repairs took place on the foundations of the bridge at a cost of £147,000 between 1972 and 1975. The consulting engineers Sandford, Fawcett, Wilton and Bell elected to place a ferro-concrete inverted arch under the river to counter inward movement of the bridge abutments. Construction of the arch was carried out by the Tarmac Construction Company starting in the spring of 1973, but unusually high summer floods washed over the cofferdam, frustrating hopes that the work could be done in a single summer. Filling material was removed from the south abutment to reduce its weight, and the arch through it was reinforced with concrete. The road surface was replaced with a lighter macadam, the stone of the abutments was renewed and the toll-house was restored as an information centre. In 1980, the structure was painted for the first time in the 20th century, and the work was complete for the bicentenary of the opening, which was celebrated with a pig roast on 1 January 1981.
“January 2017 saw the announcement by English Heritage that a £1.2 million restoration project on the Iron Bridge will start Sep 2017, which will be the single biggest piece of conservation work ever undertaken by English Heritage.” (Wikipedia)
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